THE ROMANS ONE SPIRAL - P7
“And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper ” (Rom. 1:28).
We were fashioned from dust and livened by God’s breath to worship Him and serve His harmonious will for the good of each and every creature. This is in our programming. And while the rebellion of self-determination redirected this programming, we cannot delete it.
When confronted with the atrocities of “atheist” nations, famed atheist Christopher Hitchens once declared that no atheist nation has yet existed on earth —all were religious in nature—worshiping the state, or like a cult, worshiping the leader of the nation.
In making this observation, Hitchens accidentally stumbled onto the truth—there is no such thing as a true atheist. If Man does not serve and worship his Creator, then by default, he will worship and serve something created. This is why from the beginning man commits to causes not his own, serves the interests of the wise and fool alike, bows down to stone idols or pop-stars (demonic representations of life-styles and world-views) and in his own heart, worships his foolish destiny.
But there is no equivalency in outcomes between these two things, for what is GOOD is found only in the “design parameters” of our Creator. It is by worshiping Him genuinely “in spirit and in truth” (Jn. 4:24) that we receive wisdom that is “first pure, then peaceable, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, unwavering, without hypocrisy. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace” (Js. 3:17-18). Love is God’s wisdom, as you and I care as much for each other’s genuine well-being as for our own—this creates peace in relationships and nations. It only makes sense that we are nearest our Creator and our “design parameters” when we are nearest sanity (the ability to think and behave in a reasonable and rational manner). The very essence of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual life proceeds from God’s will for us.
In contrast, self-worship fragments the integrity of our minds and hearts in the same way they fragment our relationships, disrupting them with selfish ambition, cognitive dissonance, and discontentment in self-service.
The mind rejecting its service to God spirals down into “depraved” space—unreasoning, irrational, short-sighted, insanity. A depraved mind in the Greek is the “intellect, thought, feeling, will, meaning, faculties of perceiving and understanding and feeling, judging, determining” that has been “rejected, not standing the test, disqualified, and is counterfeit.”
A depraved mind is filled with unreasonable, irrational, “demonic” wisdom, incapable of living in peace with family, neighbors, community, or nation with all the “bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your heart...this wisdom is not that which comes down from above, but is earthly, natural, demonic. For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing” (Js. 3:14-16). These “men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed [becoming prey of the very passions they espouse but at the hands of others like them]. Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain [anger, blaming others, violence], and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam [inciting their neighbor’s weaknesses to fracture the culture’s strength and make them prey]” (Jd. 10-11a), “reviling where they have no knowledge
...suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime” (2 Pt. 2:12-13a). Like “mad dogs” they bite and tear the fabric of society, harming themselves and everyone near them.
And this is why “we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor 5:20b). Bring the wisdom of God to your family, neighborhood, and nation. Even so, Amen.